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Sunday, 30 December 2018

Hope over Experience. Job applications and graphic language

To get a job you generally have to apply for a job.
Applying for a job usually results in...silence.

I felt it necessary for all us job seekers to seek a scientific rationale for this phenomena. Sadly I didn't do that but came up with the Hope Over Experience graph instead.

Thursday, 20 December 2018

My festive present; another podcast.

Part 2 of a two part podcast, this time I look at what actions came out of an Action Learning Set for job searching and the outcomes so far. And they are all very positive. Usual place, iTunes, SoundCloud, Sticher, Tune In radio.

Why wouldn't you want to listen? No, actually on second thoughts, maybe don't tell me.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

The unexpected obsolescence of a minor god.

Omkh, er yes Omkh, it is Omkh isn't it, not Shlure? You’re here anyway, one of you is. Come in, come in, come in, come in. Make yourself at home. No don’t sit there that’s my throne, only for the higher gods, I’m sure you understand. You don’t, well there we are. Sit there. Yes, that’s a much lower chair. Well, yes I realise that, as you say, that means you have to look up at me and I down at you but then that’s the way of the world. Oh listen to me, the world, haha my little joke. Of course you are in the world and I am in the heavens as a God. As it should be.

Now you know what this is all about, probably know, might think you know, but it’s not a raise though, oh no we don’t do those, except for the higher Gods of course, regularly, but before we start, a few introductions. This is one of the Dark Minions from Hugely Ridiculous, or HR as I believe it is more commonly known though I can’t work out why. They are here to support you through this process. What’s that you say, they are here to make sure the process is carried out correctly, you're pushed out ASAP with the least inconvenience and cost to us and there’s no possible come back on me. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, yes that’s correct. And this is Barely. You recall Barely? Barely Recognised from your union the Order of Minor Gods or OMG. He, she, it or possibly them is here because they are paid a good salary to support our key Minor Gods, as indeed you are, or were, oh dear I seem to have let that slip and they know what’s good for them plus hurled thunderbolts tend to sting. We find it’s always helpful to have a strong working relationship with the unions as they know just the right obsequies and sacrifices to offer without us actually having to change anything at all about the process. OMG is often the first thing people shout when they are confronted with the agenda of these meetings and realise how much support the union doesn’t offer. Were those monthly fees and sacrifices really worth it? 

Anyway the meeting is about your R…no I’ve got it, your R…really it’s fine I’ll get there, your redundancy. Always gets me a little tearful this, can’t sleep during the afternoon for days. What’s that you say, but I’ve still got a job so what’s my problem? Harsh, harsh, do I not bleed if you prick me? Actually no, I’m immortal. But I do stick my golden trident in people who have a go if you get my drift.

Now down to brass tacks, which is what we sometimes have to use to restrain our people when it gets a little heated in here during the discussion. That’s not going to happen with you. That, incidentally, is not a question. Did I mention thunderbolts sting? Bigly? And we haven’t touched on plagues. HR does walk softly and carry a big stick. Well hammer. With embedded nails. And walk softly, some poetic licence actually, as their talons do make a fearful din on the marble floor when they strut. And when HR have their talons out for you…well. You can imagine. Actually you don’t have to, just take a look out of the window into the courtyard below. Ghastly

Now as you’ve heard us Gods say many, many, many times the Minor Gods are our greatest asset. Until of course they are not. You are now in that category. Still here, why haven’t you gone I’ve got better things to do, cause seas to rise, empires to fall, watch Netflix. What’s that HR? Oh, the process yes, if I must. Barely, wake up! I see this has actually come as an unexpected surprise. Perhaps you regard it as a gift from the Gods. No? Odd as it is, in a way. Well my way. 

Your role. Gone, gone, gone. Now what were you doing? Let me see. You managed the Yoinks, you know those little winged animals? Marvellous things those Yoinks. Did you know Yoinks can be persuaded to stand still, extend their wings and be used as small tables during the regular and, I must say, generally bad tempered meetings we Gods hold to discuss strategic things such as what plague or pestilence we might send to distress our people. What we Gods really enjoy, for no obvious reason to the people, is to direct people one way along a path, then immediately reverse their instructions and tell them to travel the other way, denying that we’d ever said anything different in the first place. So much fun.
For us.

I recall Yoinks also have the ability to capture images of short passages of writing from our Gods’ scrolls onto their pupils; they can then carry short messages securely and quickly to my fellow Gods using the this service, flying vast distances through the Cloud. It’s known as eye messaging. 

The problem with Yoinks was they were generally very unproductive and whoever managed them had to keep a close watch on the herds. They were apt to sit around staring into space or wandering off to do whatever they felt like doing. The Yoinks dislike being herded. Yoinks like grazing best I’m told.

Ah yes but you know all this because you managed them. Very well apparently, for years, even though we Gods gave you no direction whatsoever. And ignored you. Except to complain bitterly if a tiny thing totally out of your control went unexpectedly wrong. Then thunderbolts and lightning, very very frightening. It wasn’t? Must be losing our touch. Make a note HR. Everyday be a little worse in every way. Can’t have the staff getting uppity.

Still, times move on. Not that you’d notice if you were immortal like us Gods. Or we think we are. Irreplaceable that’s us. Still. Where was I? People. Times are hard, times of austerity. I’ve had to reduce my stable of golden unicorns by 1, down to 149 now. And my winged chariot will no longer be replaced on an annual basis. Every three years now. Three years! Monstrous. You only have a small ass you say? Well good for you but what your diet and exercise has to do with this meeting beats me. Oh I see what you mean. But it will last you now, as long as you find a way to cover your ass of course. Years of faithful service, exemplary conduct, met all objectives, loved by all. HR why am I reading this about me? Oh right. It’s about the ass. No got that wrong as well, Omkh you apparently. Are you sure? Sounds like me?

But the people. Misguided though they might be, certainly are, but they don’t seem to worship us quite as much as they used to. Looking elsewhere for their things of worship. I hear there are new gods, new personal gods such as Eye Fone and someone called Ann Troid and these new gods help the people worship FarceBook and InstaGod. So cuts have to be made, hard choices taken, areas merged. Just not amongst us Gods. So we’ve decided to merge, well not me of course I have no idea how these things work just reading this script, the Yoinks, who you manage, managed there I go again, with the burrowing death squirrels. You are aware the burrowing death squirrels keep the Gods’ palaces clean, free of vermin and people, should they be ill advised to try and talk directly to us Gods.

So that means you are out. Sorry, sorry, sorry, went off piste for a moment. Sadly, it says here on this bit of paper, we must let you go and spend more time with your family. They’ve all left? Because you dedicated so much of your life working long hours to support us Gods? Suck…I mean how touching. Still time, time to think about all those alternative opportunities. And in recognition of that dedication we are paying, really HR we pay these little people, the statutory redundancy of one pewter figurine. 

Yes of course we realise that puts you in a difficult position but what do we care now? Oh I know there’s all that guff about ‘our people’ and ‘greatest assets’ but no one seriously believes that. Do they?

And you had no inkling you say? Are not inklings the progeny of Yoinks? You didn't guess at all? And finding another Minor God role will be hard. Ah, your age. Might be a factor in getting another job I concede. No there aren’t any other roles here for you. We have culled the number of Minor God roles, culled like one of those virulent plagues we send amongst the people from time to time. Sorry what was that HR? I mean we have carefully reviewed our ongoing viable Minor God management structure and regretfully concluded that we can easily exploit all the other gullible and less well paid staff that are left. We did look. No I’m not crossing my fingers behind my back as I say that. We regret we cannot take on any more staff, budgets and portents of doom from the Seers you know. BAD. Naturally we Gods have to find funds to extend our palaces and re-gild our chariots. Especially as I can only replace them every three years, have I mentioned that?

Yes we realise that losing one’s role when you are an older Minor God is not ideal and that this was unexpected. For you, though, we've been planning it for ages. We really don’t care even though we say we do and it’s written on this scroll and on posters all over the palaces but we know it’s not the best place to be. The best place for you to be is no longer here. So crack on. I’m sure that doesn’t render you obsolete. You will have many transferable skills. Convincing employers might be hard you say? Because you will be obviously overskilled for such roles and they will be wary. Surely not, potential employers would be looking for wisdom, experience, loyalty and leadership skills over callow, naive and yet much cheaper promiscuous youth. Surely that must be the case. Yes, yes, we know you have many skills. What’s that, numerous skills that are honed to resemble the blade of the finest Toledo steel? Maybe you could be a cheese seller. You know, cutting skills, slicing cheese. Oh I see, you were using a metaphor. 

Well thank you for your time Shlure. What? I mean Omkh.

Say goodbye to HR and OMG. Barely, do wake up and HR do stop clawing.

All the best. Who or what is next?

What’s a metaphor?

Monday, 10 December 2018

Not quite a TED talk

Recently I gave a brief presentation on why I podcast. 
Why indeed?
Anyway here it is, the presentation, in glorious sound and vision, with maps and subtle sound effects. 
An EoTP first.